Polluting factories ordered to shut down after a decade of community outcry

22.6.2020 - NONG PAWA (THAILAND)
Destroyed trees in Nong Pawa

Residents of Nong Pawa (Rayong province) have been affected by chronic water pollution caused by the recycling factories of Win Process Company for the last ten years. However, after a decade of pressing the authorities to regulate the factory, there has been a success: a tripartite working commission was finally formed, which includes government agencies, the company and affected people, and it has ordered two of the three polluting factories to shut down.

The villagers have been suffering due to untreated discharged wastewater which causes flooding. Moreover, their rubber trees have died standing and the area has been plagued with foul-smelling odour. The polluted environment also has severe impacts on their health. Win Process Company held three factory licenses for operating different types of business activities which are: factory type 40 – sorting unusable materials, compressing paper, metal and plastic scraps; factory type 60 – smelting and casting metals, and factory type 106 – recycling used fuel oil and container-cleaning with solvents. 

On 28 May 2020, Rayong Provincial Industry Office has issued three orders to Win Process Company, ordering the type 60 and 106 factories to shut down, since their operations don't comply with the law. The type 40 factory will be able to continue operating after accurately redefining its territory. In addition, samplings of surface and underground water, and soil around the factory site were also collected by the Pollution Control Department for further investigation and actions.

On 5 June 2020, the second tripartite working committee meeting was held. It was attended by the affected villagers together with a local group, representatives from the company as well as various government agencies, who have decided that the company must submit a plan for the transferring of chemicals for disposal. Moreover, if the company does not comply with the law, the Industrial Work Department will order the factory to shut down.

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